MATTHEW-- --MARK-- --LUKE
Please tolerate my own comments in black text.
Late in the day, when the time had come to leave the temple, Jesus was sitting opposite the treasury, and as he looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. He saw a certain poor widow putting two lepta there, and said, "Truly, I tell you that this poor widow put in more than everyone, for everyone put into the gifts out of their abundance, but this woman, in her poverty, had put in all she had to live on."
One of his disciples said, "Teacher, behold, what great stones and what great buildings."
"Do you see these great buildings," he said, "in no way will stone be left upon stone which will not be thrown down."Then they left the Temple and probably heard more on this topic as they went. In the evenings, Jesus would go forth and lodge on the mountain called "Olives," a mere eyeshot from the Temple. As he sat on the Mount of Olives this night, the disciples approached him privately, asking, "Tell us, when will these things [about the Temple stones?] be, and what is the sign of your appearance and of the end of the age?" The apostles had assumed that the stones would be torn down at the same time/event as the end of the age.
"See that no one causes you to err. For many will come in my name saying, "I am the Christ," causing many to err. But you are about to hear of wars and rumors of wars (i.e. the Romans); see that you are not troubled; for it is required to happen, but the end is not yet. For in the end nation will be raised against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be pestilence(s), famines and earthquakes throughout places, terrors and great signs in the heavens; but these things are merely the beginning of birth-pangs.
"Before all these things [i.e. in the first century?], they will lay their hands on you, and will persecute you, delivering you to synagogues and prisons for being led away before kings and governors for the sake of my name. This will turn out as a testimony for you to give. Therefore, do not decide to practice your defense in your hearts beforehand, for I will give you a mouth of wisdom which your opponents will not be able to withstand nor contradict. Speak whatever is given you in that hour, for you will not be speaking, but rather the Holy Spirit.
"Then [(in the end times, after the beginning of “birth pains”), you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Many will then be offended and will deliver one another for hating one another. A brother will deliver a brother to death, a father a child, and children will rise against parents and will put them to death. Many false prophets will be raised to cause many to err. But the one who endures this persecution and confusion to the end, this one will be saved. Not a hair of your head will by any means perish; in your endurance you will gain your souls. This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end of the age will come.
"When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. When, therefore, you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken through the prophet Daniel [in 11:31], standing in the holy site, let the reader understand. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those in the districts not enter into Judea. Let not the one on the housetop come down to take things out of his house, nor let the one in the field turn back to retrieve his coat, because these are days of God's vengeance upon Israel, fulfilling all the things written in the Old-Testament prophecies.
"Remember Lot's wife: whoever seeks to preserve his earthly life, he will lose it, but whoever will lose it will preserve it. Woe to the women having fruit in the womb and to those giving suck in those days. Pray that your flight will not occur in winter, nor on a sabbath; for then there will be great tribulation on the land, and wrath against this people Israel, such that has not come to pass up to now, from the beginning of the world, nor will it by any means happen again. And Israel will fall by the mouth of the sword and will be led captive to all nations, until the [42-month] times of the nations are accomplished [i.e. at Armageddon]. Unless the Lord shortened those days [at Armageddon], no flesh could be saved, but on account of the elect, those days will be cut short by My return.
"Days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but will not see one. They will say to you, 'Behold there!' or 'Behold, here!' Do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will be raised, who will give great signs and wonders, so as to cause to err, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you beforehand. If, therefore, they say to you, 'Behold, he's in the desert,' do not go forth; if they say, 'Behold, he's in the private rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines to the west, so also will the appearance of the Son of man be [i.e. suddenly, bright, fearful, from and across the sky, from east to west]. Wherever the carcass may be, there will the eagles be assembled.
"And immediately after the[Israel's] tribulation of those days, there will be anxiety amongst nations in perplexity, at the sound of the sea and surf, with men fainting from fear and anticipation for the things coming upon the inhabited earth, for the powers of the skies will be shaken [i.e. as per the 6th Seal]. The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give her light; the stars will fall from the sky i.e. to the horizon, and the powers of the skies will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man [the rapture?] will appear in the sky. All the tribes of the land will then bewail as they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a great trumpet [the 7th Trumpet], and they will gather his elect out of the four winds of the air, from the extremities of the skies unto their extremities.
"When these things begin to take place, stand erect and lift up your heads because your redemption draws near. Learn this parable of the fig tree: "When its branch becomes tender and it puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things, know that it is near, at the doors. Truly, I tell you, that this generation witnessing these things will by no means pass away until all these things take place. The sky and earth will pass away, but my words may not by any means pass away. So you see, I have told you before all things happen.
"Concerning the timing of that day and hour (of the post-tribulation return of 6 verses earlier), no one knows -- not even the angels -- but only the Father. For as in the days of Noah, so also will the appearance of the Son of Man be without warning to those who perish. For as they were eating and drinking in those days before the flood -- marrying and being given into marriage, until the day Noah entered into the ark, thus not realizing anything until the flood came and took everyone, so also will the appearance of the Son of Man be [a sudden surprise only to those who do not heed the signs].
"It was the same in the days of Lot--they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building--but on the day which Lot went forth from Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from the sky and destroyed all.
"Take heed to yourselves lest your hearts become burdened with headache, deep drinking, and the anxieties of life, so that the dayof Armageddon/Appearance comes suddenly upon you like a snare e.g. thief in the night, for it will come in on all the ones which sit on the face of the earth. But you be watchful, begging at all times that you may be able to escape all these things which are about to happen, so as to stand before the Son of Man.
"I tell you, in this night there will be two men on one couch; one will be taken and the other will be leftbehind; there will be two men in the field, one will be taken and one will be left behind; two women will be grinding grain at the mill, one will be taken and one will be left behind."
"Where, Lord," they asked him, being curious as to where those taken would go.
"Where there's a saved body [different Greek word than the "carcass" of Matthew 24:28], there also will the eagles be gathered together [i.e. in the sky].
"Watch, therefore, because you do not know when the Lord of the house will arrive, whether late in the evening, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or early in the morning; if he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. But know that if the homeowner knew in what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have allowed his house to be dug through. Therefore, you also be ready, because the Son of Man will come at a time when you do not think so" [ifor which reason it will not be in/near the year 2000, when many think so].
"Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant whom the Lord appointed over his Household, to give them [his tribulation Christians] food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom the Lord will find so doing when he returns [as per verse 30]. Truly, I tell you, that he will appoint him over all his Millennial goods. But if a wicked servant says in his heart, 'My Lord delays,' and begins to strike [i.e. betray] his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with those who are drunks, then the Lord of that servant will come on a day which he does not expect, and in an hour that he does not recognize, and will cut him to pieces. His portion will be with the hypocrites; there will be wailing and the gnashing of teeth..."
For the rest of the Discourse, see Matthew 25.